India Men’s Hockey team thrash South Africa in their fourth Pro League match

0 : International Hockey Federation/Instagram

Dragflick Newsdesk : India overcame Saturday’s shock defeat to France with a scintillating 10-2 win against hosts South Africa in the FIH Men’s Hockey Pro League 2022 on Sunday.
Drag flick specialist Harmanpreet Singh (36′, 52′, 60′, 60′) starred in the match with four
sensational goals while Surender Kumar (15′), Shilanand Lakra (27′, 48′), Mandeep Singh
(28′), Sumit (45′) and Shamsher Singh (56′) scored to ensure India ended their South
African sojourn on a winning note.

For South Africa, Daniel Bell (12′) and Connor Beauchamp (53′) scored goals.

Earlier in the match, both teams displayed high-intensity hockey offering some thrilling
moments for hockey buffs. While it was India who was quick to create a scoring
opportunity through a PC in the very first minute of the game, India’s ace dragflicker Harmanpreet’s drive was well blocked by the South African defenders.

Five minutes later, South African defenders fashioned a similar block when Jugraj Singh took the drag hoping to fetch India an early 1-0 lead.

The hosts, however, did not miss an opportunity to convert when the Cassiem brothers
worked their skills to earn South Africa their first PC of the match. In a re-take, Daniel
Bell struck a fine goal to put his team ahead by 1-0 in the 12th minute. India, on the other
hand, was quick to reply when Surender Kumar pumped a brilliant field goal in the 15th

While South Africa showed great intent in the second quarter, working towards regaining
the lead, an alert Indian defence kept them from scoring. In the 24th minute, experienced
Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh came up with a fine save when South Africa was awarded
a PC. In the following minutes, Shilanand Lakra scored from a good assist by Shamsher
Singh while Mandeep Singh scored India’s third goal and put his team ahead by a
comfortable 3-1 lead.

After the 10-minute half-time break, South Africa bounced back with some potent attack.
They mounted pressure when a penalty stroke was awarded after Indian infringement,
but Krishan Pathak was exceptional in his attempt to make a brilliant save and denied the
hosts an opportunity to narrow the lead to 2-3.

In the following minutes, Pathak braved a flurry of shots on goal by South African attackers, not allowing any room for a goal. While South Africa continued to dominant with ball possession, they could not succeed in converting goals. India, in the meantime, scored through Harmanpreet Singh’s drag-flick in the 36th minute followed by a goal from Sumit that put India ahead by 5-1.

They amassed five more goals in the final quarter through Shilanand (48′) and Harmanpreet (52′, 60′, 60′), and Shamsher Singh (56′). Although South Africa scored
through a PC well-converted by Connor Beauchamp in the 53rd minute, they couldn’t
stop India from ending their campaign with a 10-2 win on board.

India will next play against Spain on February 26 and 27 in the home leg of the FIH
Hockey Pro League 2022. The double-header will be held at the iconic Kalinga Hockey
Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

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